Thunder at Hawks, AKA Kevin Durant: Dat Boy Good

Woody says Thunder forward Kevin Durant should be considered for MVP: “His numbers are ridiculous right now.”

Indeed. Durant has scored 30-plus in five straight games, including 36 in Oklahoma City’s 98-80 victory against the Heat Saturday. Miami coach Erik Spoelstra has seen enough:

“I’m glad that we don’t play (the Thunder) again this year,” Spoelstra told The Oklahoman. “Give us some time to figure him out. He is so big and skilled and can shoot it over the top of you. Even if you are there, he doesn’t even notice you. When he shoots it like he did (Saturday), it just makes it that much tougher. He has grown a lot. I remember in his rookie year, he was nothing like this.”

Zaza is back.

Jamal Crawford is quoted in an MLK Day/NBA piece in the Contra Costa Times:

“For the most part, players of this generation try to treat everyone equal no matter their color or gender. … Try to respect one another. There are still situations in life we can improve on, but overall, I think Dr. King would be proud of how far we’ve come.”

– Pretty ho-hum field announced for the All-Star Slam Dunk competition: Shannon Brown, Nate Robinson, Gerald Wallace plus the winner of a “dunk-in” between DeMar DeRozan and Eric Gordon.

Smoove, slam dunk winner as a rookie in 2005, still says he’s done with it for good. Can’t blame him. He’d rather be an All-Star.

– Fire alarm went off in Philips Arena before the game. Joe Johnson ducked in Woody’s office to see if he should panic. Told that he shouldn’t, J.J. told the coach and reporters: “Y’all gonna burn up by yourself.”

– Super commenter northcyde took issue with my critique of the Hawks’ switching D against the Suns. He (you’re a dude, right?) notes that Steve Nash didn’t get his usual numbers and credits the defensive strategy for that. Says northcyde: “It was a great defensive game plan that will go unnoticed by traditional basketball fans that feel that a guard should always be matched up against a guard.”

Well, I don’t think it always has to be that way, but northcyde make some good points. Props.

– After the Hawks overcame a four-point deficit in the final six seconds against the Suns Friday, the Elias Sports Bureau says the last team to come back from a four-point deficit with six or less to win was the Lakers. The did it with four seconds left against the Heat on Dec. 24.

– I see you are accustomed to an open game thread, so talk amongst yourselves.

MC

217 comments Add your comment

G-Dot

January 18th, 2010
1:35 pm

Happy to be FIRST!

Hawk Str8Talk

January 18th, 2010
1:45 pm

I think what northcyde fails to mention is that – for as many times as the switching D strategy has worked against a Nash – it has NOT been anywhere close to successful on several other guards of Nash’s quality. Not only that – it took a miracle to win the game, so I’m not sure that I’m going to give a lot of credit to the strategy until I see a trend of it being successful vs. taking one moment in time to prove something that we can use so many other examples where it was being roasted. I will say it’s a good strategy to have in our toolkit, but it’s failure is in the fact that we don’t have a Plan B or Plan C when it’s not working. That’s what I think most fans disagree with. Similar to the isolation plays, by themselves – they aren’t bad. They are just bad as the only 4th quarter options, particularly on nights when Joe and/or Jamal are not being successful with them OR when we’ve built leads by using other offensive sets and methods. To go away from those things is what makes us question whether it’s a game plan that was devised to win the game vs. a flawed strategy that was overcome by superior athletic efforts.

Sautee

January 18th, 2010
1:56 pm

Hawk Str8Talk,

co-sign

Big Ray

January 18th, 2010
1:58 pm

Co-sign Hawk Str8talk . Good post.

bigdave

January 18th, 2010
1:58 pm

lets get it…

Hawk n the Ham

January 18th, 2010
2:00 pm

The alarms went off because Dominique yelled, “HEAT CHECK!!!!”

Big Ray

January 18th, 2010
2:01 pm

LOL@ Hawk n the Ham

Ray

January 18th, 2010
2:03 pm

I read somewhere that others teams like the Lakers and Raptors have also used it against Nash by switching a big man on to Nash every time. The first time they lost by 1 and 19 the second time. My take is, why not? See if it works and go with it, but at the end of the day it’s still Steve freaking Nash and I doubt any one adjustment can make that big of a difference.

Hawk n the Ham

January 18th, 2010
2:07 pm

I hope Marvin took his 5-Hour Energy.

O'Brien

January 18th, 2010
2:15 pm

Look for KD to put up big “nimbers”

BONE

January 18th, 2010
2:17 pm

Damn why couldn’t Marvin be like Durant

Hawk n the Ham

January 18th, 2010
2:22 pm

Put in Zaza to lay out Durant a couple of times.

Big Ray

January 18th, 2010
2:30 pm

Foul on Horford, but good defense of the rim.

BONE

January 18th, 2010
2:30 pm

Carl

January 18th, 2010
2:31 pm

Josh Smith is garbage

Hawk n the Ham

January 18th, 2010
2:31 pm

J Smoove…..don’t be a point guard, don’t be a point guard.

BONE

January 18th, 2010
2:33 pm

Josh thinks he’s Magic Johnson 2day

Hawk n the Ham

January 18th, 2010
2:33 pm

Ryan Cameron, “Defense?? Defense??”

BONE

January 18th, 2010
2:33 pm

See what happens when u gotta athletic PG

Sautee

January 18th, 2010
2:34 pm

Man, they have a LOT of good young players. How often do we see a team more athletic than we are?

Big Ray

January 18th, 2010
2:35 pm

How many Hawks did Westbrook run by on his way to that dunk?

Thunder are outhustling us, pure and simple.

Sautee

January 18th, 2010
2:35 pm

Carl,

Hey, I thought he was a thug…..;-)

Big Ray

January 18th, 2010
2:35 pm

BONE ,

You mean an athletic pg that gets to play…. ;)

Melvin

January 18th, 2010
2:35 pm

Just read the string on the last blog in reference to Stackhouse and Mo Evans. If you all thing Mo Evans is an better option than Stack I beg the differ. Mo defense is highly overrated along with him being a guy who is not capable of creating his own shot. Stack is a better defender than Mo and as on offense, there’s no comparison…

O'Brien

January 18th, 2010
2:36 pm

Sometimes Josh takes it down the court and makes a really good pass, or takes it to the rim strong. But everytime it works, I cringe.

Becuase that gives Josh enough motivation to keep doing it. I wish he would give it up to the guards…

And I wish the Hawks would give some hard fouls.

Sid

January 18th, 2010
2:36 pm

Josh and Joes intensity level at the start of these games is very disturbing .

Melvin

January 18th, 2010
2:36 pm

BONE

January 18th, 2010
2:37 pm

yea ur right Big Ray

Carl

January 18th, 2010
2:37 pm

He is @ Sautee

Big Ray

January 18th, 2010
2:38 pm

These guys are all over us. We can’t even inbound the ball. WTF…

BONE

January 18th, 2010
2:39 pm

Big Ray

January 18th, 2010
2:40 pm

O’brien ,

I agree. But Josh’s turnovers are down this year, and his assists are up. I only cringe when he is dribbling too close to a guard with quick hands. Other than that, I don’t mind him bringing it up as much anymore. I agree that in theory he should give it to the guards. My only issue with that is the percentage of time that the guards are walking it up….

Carl

January 18th, 2010
2:42 pm

The second the Hawks get rid of “J-Smoove” they will contend for titles yearly.

BONE

January 18th, 2010
2:43 pm

At least Teague is gettin mins

Mac-Town'z Finest 478

January 18th, 2010
2:45 pm

Mike Woodson is jealous of James Harden’s beard

BONE

January 18th, 2010
2:46 pm

I hate that stupid look on Woody’s face

Melvin

January 18th, 2010
2:46 pm

Mo is a foul magnet…

Mac-Town'z Finest 478

January 18th, 2010
2:46 pm

expect some aggressive coaching this afternoon

BONE

January 18th, 2010
2:47 pm

Damn the hawks are clumsy as hell

O'Brien

January 18th, 2010
2:47 pm

Big Ray,

True. But the problem with Josh is he does not do a good job of picking his spots about when to bring it up.

Westbrook already has 4 pts, 5 assists. When teague gets minutes, he better make the most of it.

And Durant is a beast. Its frustrating to see other SFs light it up, and all we can expect from Marvin is good defense and some rebounding.

And Mo Williams is better off as a backup SG. He is too small to play SF

BONE

January 18th, 2010
2:48 pm

The hawks are gonna lose if they keep playing this way

Sautee

January 18th, 2010
2:52 pm

O’Brien,

Mo Williams? You’ve been listening to ‘Nique! ;-)

Melvin

January 18th, 2010
2:52 pm

Carl,

We haven’t heard from you on the blog since Jamal hit the game winning shot against the Suns. In which, you said the Hawks would lose prior to that shot… I see you are back to bring the Hawks some more luck today…

Mac-Town'z Finest 478

January 18th, 2010
2:52 pm

Even with OKC’s plus .500 record…you get the feeling the Hawks just expected showing up would win them this game.

BONE

January 18th, 2010
2:57 pm

the hawks are starting to suck

Sautee

January 18th, 2010
3:02 pm

Bench is 3-14. Ugh.

Hawk n the Ham

January 18th, 2010
3:02 pm

J SMOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE!!!!!!!

niremetal

January 18th, 2010
3:03 pm

What was that, Bone? For some reason I can never hear you when the Hawks are doing well.

Melvin

January 18th, 2010
3:05 pm

That Horford to Josh dunk is a good reason why the Hawks bigs bring the ball up the court alot b/c they push the ball and our guards (mainly Joe/Bibby) like to walk it up court…

Mac-Town'z Finest 478

January 18th, 2010
3:07 pm

Josh should pass more than dribble